Reaction: Pasuwa heaps praise on derby debutants after defeating Wanderers 4-1

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Alick Lungu and Paul Kansungwi have earned praises from Kalisto Pasuwa for their brilliant performances during Saturday’s Blantyre derby against Mighty Wanderers.

Nyasa Big Bullets were 4-1 winners over Mighty Wanderers at the Kamuzu Stadium to reach the 2021 Airtel Top 8 final.

Deployed in the first XI to face the Nomads in such a crucial encounter where not only bragging rights were involved, but The People’s Team also looking for a win to book a place in the final stage of the competition, Lungu and Kansungwi, playing on the left wing of defence and attacking midfield, respectively, did not disappoint in their first derby after joining Bullets this season.

Bullets dominated from the first to the last minute, restricting Wanderers right-back Stanley Sanudi and attacker Yamikani Chester from making dangerous moves into their territory.

Pasuwa paid tribute to his young soldiers for such a spirited performance.

“First class football from my boys. I am proud of my boys especially the youngsters, who were so good throughout the match. The introduction of Alick [Lungu] to the left flank helped us a lot as he played as if he has been playing throughout the season and that’s the thing we are looking from these youngsters,” he said.

Impressed: Alick Lungu in his debut Blantyre derby against Mighty Wanderers in the Airtel Top 8 semis. Photo by Kimpho Loka/Bullets Media.

“I have never praised my boys [like this in public], but today let me salute them. They were very offensive and very solid in terms of how they were keeping the ball away from the opponents and they dominated in every phases of play, so kudos to them for such an amazing performance today.”

He added: “Today it was different from the league match that we played [and lost to them 1-0 two months ago], where we missed a lot of chances, but today we took our chances in the attacking phase and that’s the kind of a performance that you need when you are playing a cup game.”

The Zimbabwean also praised Babatunde for his stunning performance and how he is improving each game since he moved from Wanderers to Bullets in winter.

The Nigerian forward scored all the four goals against his former side to take his tally in this year’s Airtel Top 8 to eight goals in three matches.

“Very attacking football from Babatunde. You could see how he pressed for the goals. We have problems in most of the guys that we sign. They have got talent, but they lack the tactical aspect of the game. We have been working on Babatunde to improve on his flaws and he has been catching up very well, running into spaces and contributing to the defensive part whenever he lose possession, so I am very happy with how he is improving.”

In the final, Bullets, who are eyeing their second silverware this season after clinching the TNM Super League in October, will play the winner between Silver Strikers and Civil Service United.

This is the second time for Bullets to eliminate Wanderers in the semifinals of the competition to advance to the finals. In 2018, The People’s Team defeated their rivals 2-1, before succumbing 1-0 to Blue Eagles in the final.

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